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Riparian Areas: Functions and Strategies for Management
a change in institutional perspectives, and most likely a change in laws. Like recovery of the natural system, it will take time for education and outreach programs to generate broad-based public and political support. Thus, while initiating efforts to restore riparian areas is an urgent need, patience and persistence in meeting long-term restoration goals are required.
Although many riparian areas can be restored and managed to provide many of their natural functions, they are not immune to the effects of poor management in adjacent uplands. Because the subject of this report is riparian areas, it might seem that restoration activities need only focus on those areas. Indeed, in many situations this is all that may be needed to achieve certain restoration goals. However, where upslope management practices significantly alter the magnitude and timing of overland flow, the production of sediment, and the quality of water arriving at a downslope riparian area, then simply focusing on the riparian system may be inadequate for achieving restoration goals. In such situations, upslope practices that are contributing to riparian degradation must be addressed in order for long-term success to be achieved. Restoration of riparian areas should be approached with full recognition of the larger physical structure of which it is a part; that is, riparian area management must be a component of good watershed management.
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